Stocks Sag On Earnings, Pricing Power

Stocks fell across the board Wednesday on lukewarm earnings reports and an unexpected drop in producer prices. Yahoo and QLogic traded lower after the close despite topping estimates.

The Nasdaq fell 22 to 1438, the S&P 500 lost 13 to 918, and the Dow dropped 119 to 8723. Volume rose to 1.38 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.73 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 18-13 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 72% on the NYSE, and 73% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 93-15 on the NYSE, and 83-23 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Symantec rose on better than expected results and guidance. Yahoo and QLogic fell on better than expected results and in-line guidance. Apple posted in-line results, and Netflix rose on better than expected results. Redback matched estimates and announced a restructuring.

During the day, Intel lost 2.5% after beating earnings estimates and reporting revenues of $7.16 billion, above consensus estimates of $6.92 billion. The company offered a wide range for first-quarter revenue guidance ($6.5-$7 billion versus estimates of $6.67 billion), and cut 2003 capex spending to $3.5-$3.9 billion, below estimates of $4 billion and down from 2002’s $4.7 billion. Intel said it sees “no underlying economic growth.” Intel also unveiled Linux developer software.

Chip equipment stocks fell on Intel’s capex plans, led by a 5.9% drop in Applied Materials . Teradyne fell 16% despite topping estimates. rose 13% on an unsolicited takeover offer. Just our humble opinion, but at 9.8 times free cash flow, RCOM shareholders should reject that offer.

Netegrity rose 16.8% on an upgrade and takeover rumor.

Microsoft , off 1.2%, is opening its Windows source code to foreign governments. Microsoft, IBM and eBay report earnings tomorrow night.

Cisco , off 2.5%, is doing a WiFi trial with Lufthansa.

HP , off 1.7%, unveiled storage consolidation and business continuity hardware and software.

Transmeta gained 7.3% on a laptop deal in China.

Qwest , down 1.3%, scored a deal with the state of Oklahoma.

Lehman Brothers fell 3.2% on a New York Times report that Internet analyst Holly Becker may face an insider trading investigation.

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